The Importance of Nap Time by Age, graph by cmoney345

The Importance of Nap Time by Age, graph by cmoney345

This is a very small study, but I don’t need much encouragement for an afternoon nap. Researchers wanted to test whether a mid-afternoon nap during the late-luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (commonly known as the premenstrual period) would improve symptoms of sleepiness, mood, and cognitive performance without negatively impacting subsequent nocturnal sleep. They tested this hypothesis on ten women with significant premenstrual symptoms and a control group of nine women with minimal or no symptoms, and found that napping made both groups feel better. More precisely,

Napping improved sleepiness, alertness, mood, and some aspects of cognitive performance. Improvements were maintained for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours after napping. An afternoon nap benefited both groups of women, but those with significant symptoms had a slightly greater improvement in intensity of mood 30 minutes after the nap.

Napping – it’s not just for kindergarteners. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone could have a Fig Newton and a blankie at about 2:30 pm?

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